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Day 1 - Transfer from Managua to Jinotega

We leave the heat of the central valley and climb into the pine-oak habitat of the central mountains. During coffee season the region is bustling with activity as local producers prepare their harvests for market. We will visit a coffee processing area just outside Matagalpa and then visit the highland resort of Selva Negra for lunch and a short hike. We arrive in the town of Jinotega mid-afternoon and will have a brief optional walking tour.

Day 2 - Datanli – El Diablo

We begin the day with a birding walk along the beautiful shore of Apenas Lake and then continue to La Bastilla, the center of coffee production of the area. We will see the entire production process, from picking ripe coffee beans to drying the final product. We will even roast some beans and try some of the highest quality coffee in Nicaragua. After lunch we will hike from La Bastilla to El Gobiado through beautiful cloud forest looking for Quetzals and Bell Birds, and a host of other high elevation specialists. Overnight: Hotel Café, Jinotega

Day 3 - Datanli – El Diablo

Today’s hike is from La Trampa through a scenic rural climb to the cloud forests. The route is famous for the variety of epiphytes and the many different species of orchids, over 150 species have been found in the reserve. From the cloud forest we slowly descend through pine-oak habitat and finally arrive at the community of La Esmeralda. This is a moderate/strenuous hiking day with lunch in the field. From La Esmeralda we return to Managua late afternoon. Overnight: Las Mercedes, Managua

Day 4 - Transfer to the Rio San Juan

We take the early flight to San Carlos and then visit the islands of Solentanamie. We will have some great birding and visit the local museum and artisan workshops. Solentanamie is famous as an artist enclave. We have lunch on the islands and then transfer to Sabalos Lodge, nestled along the Rio San Juan arriving at sunset.

Day 5 - Indio-Maiz Biosphere Reserve & El Castillo

We have a day exploring the Rio San Juan starting with the second largest protected area in the country Indio-Maiz. After a great hike where monkeys and poison-dart frongs are common, Great Green Macaws possible but not so easy, we head to colonial fort of El Castillo, overlooking the rapids of the Rio San Juan. We have a fantastic lunch and then visit the historic fort returning to Sabalos Lodge late afternoon. We will have a night walk option after dinner. Overnight: Sabalos Lodge

Day 6 - Rio San Juan

We have an open day to relax and have fun on the Rio San Juan. Optional activities include early birding walk, kayaking on the Rio Sabalos and tubing on the river. You can also visit the nearby community of Boca de Sabalos.

Day 7 - High Speed Boat to San Jorge, La Flor Wildlife Refuge

After a relaxing breakfast we get picked up by the high speed boat and depart for the port town of San Jorge, opposite the island of Ometepe. Spectacular views of the dual volcanoes of Ometepe. We then continue to the Pacific Coast and lunch at San Juan del Sur. This is a surfers hangout with a spectacular beach. We arrive at our cabanas on the beach late afternoon in time for a quick swim.

Day 8 - La Flor Wildlife Refuge

We are in some of the best dry forest habitat in the region which surrounds many small beaches which are critical for nesting Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. Depending on the time of year, large numbers of sea turtles arrive in what is known as arribadas. A spectacle of nature! After the nesting period, we may see the hatchlings departing to the sea on their lifelong journey. While the sea turtles are seasonal, the excellent snorkeling, sea-kayaking, hiking & visiting archeology sties are year round. A fun combination of activities. Overnight: El Coco, Rivas

Day 9 - Return to Managua

We'll head back to Managua in time for your flight home.

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Featured Animals: Olive Ridley, Macaw, Primates


© Brad Nahill / SEEtheWILD
© Paso Pacifico
Olive ridley turtles nesting at La Flor during an "arribada"
© Adelayde Rivas / Paso Pacifico
La Flor Wildlife Refuge is an important nesting beach for olive ridley turtles
© Paula von Weller

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